Home » City Council, Community » Eddie Maddock: Further Fodder for Fueling the Firestorm

Eddie Maddock: Further Fodder for Fueling the Firestorm

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock takes another look at Sedona past and prophetic headlines.

Sedona AZ (August 28, 2017)Revisiting our catchy headline journey, let us begin with a guest column by Pat Pomphrey, Member, Sedona City Council, RRNews 11/07/90: 

And What Can We Expect Here in Sedona? City creates ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen’.

And it gets better with its insert —

Yes, we passed a balanced budget as required by law. But we budgeted our expenses to exceed our income! Now, how can that be? Those are conflicting statements.””

Moving on, to September 1993 and a lingering special topic, Red Rock Crossing:

The 9/21/93 Arizona Republic headlined Forget the Bridge”. I would be remiss not to include a portion of its quote from the inimitable and opinionated former Senator from Arizona Barry Goldwater:  “…To me, there is no earthly reason why any attempt should be made to put a bridge at Red Rock Crossing near Sedona. There isn’t even a good road anywhere near where they want to put that bridge, and its one of the most spectacular bits of scenery in the whole state.”

And 9/22/93 RRNews staff writer, Sondra Roberta, offered the headline editorial “RR Crossing Does Not Just Belong to Us

However, Wayne D. Iverson of Sedona offered his own suggestion to the editor of the Arizona Republic on 9/23/93: “What About Fate of Oak Creek Canyon/Red Rock?”  Requesting for the Forest Service to study revision of management practices in the forest plan for the Red Rock/Oak Creek area from within appropriated funds.

City of Sedona Council Chamber

The RRNews 10/28/94 “headline Council Decision Booed by Citizens” accurately reflected “vehement opposition to the portion of Article 4 in the draft land code that affords Community Development Director Tom Schafer the power to grant administration waivers.” Public concern was that granting administrative waiver to the planning staff might open the door to abuse.

What? Of course the council unanimously agreed and “amended the code to reflect the administrative waiver would remain intact with a one-year sunset clause.” And guess what? That one year sunset has yet to occur.

On Thursday, May 23, 1996, Sedona again made Arizona Republic headlines: “Sedona Votes to Restrict City’s Growth” followed the next day May 24, 1996, by RRNews First Anti-Growth Law Approved –captioned Anti-growth ballot issue passes by only 52 votes; Lawsuit says measure is unconstitutional

Not to worry, however, because Friday, March 28, 1997, RRNews “Growth Law Repealed by City Council

Yep, the voice of the people be damned even way back then.

However, not all City Councils’ rubber stamped new ideas.

On February 19, 1999, RRNews “Council Gives Policy Change Cool Reception”… Council tables ordinance giving city manager authority to settle claims for amounts up to $25,000.” Hum, wonder where that stands today?

Sedona Arizona in need of tourist advertising funds may raise city and bed taxes. (SedonaEye.com article photo and caption dated June 2010)

A dazzling Letter to the Editor of the Verde Independent, August 16, 2000:


“Editor: Reference traffic congestion in Sedona and Arizona 179 to the Village of Oak Creek, may I suggest postponement of Sedona’s extensive marketing campaign to lure more and more visitors and instead fall back on word-of-mouth and goodwill generated by the many merchants to bring visitors back? This action would hardly cause this market area to falter, but give some much needed time to address the serious traffic problems, such as solid traffic backup from the Village all the way into Sedona. – David Henry, Cornville”

Stunning. – And the date of that letter again? August 16, 2000.

A small flurry of articles popped up in June 2003 relating to guess what? Affordable Housing!

On June 11, 2003, a profound editorial appeared by Ryan Van Benthuysen, Managing Editor, RRNews …  “Enough is Enough: A Deal is A Deal

Benthuysen rightfully took the city of Sedona to task with the following words: “Under the guise of trying to help build affordable housing apartment units on Sombart Lane, Fairfield Resort in West Sedona is trying to get 64 apartments in a different location rezoned as timeshares. If the city allows the company to turn these apartments into timeshares, Fairfield says it will help fund the affordable housing apartments on Sombart Lane through Sombart Lane Development. The city needs to just say no.”

A companion article in that same edition offers… “Fairfield Seeks to Change Rules of the Game” further enhances how the scam of “affordable houses” has been used and abused over the years. (Remember Nepenthe?)

And, yet again on June 25, 2003, “Sombart Lane Proposal Dies –- Land owner backs away from housing proposal

However, the RRN headline on November 11, 2005, Modified Fairfield Plan OK’d” … but a follow-up quote by a Sedona city councilman summed up the outcome: “”No development agreement can make them build.” And they didn’’t. Bye, bye to affordable housing.”

The city of Sedona has chipped away and demolished many of its red rocks to build a tourist attraction. In a 2003 RRN letter to editor, former Sedona resident William Bliss wrote, “Sedona has finally passed the king of tawdriness, South Lake Tahoe…” adding, “H.L. Menchen once said, No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public…”

As history sometimes repeats, the Land Development Code is now under consideration to be amended to allow increased density housing.

Sounds like an excellent plan for outside investors interested in the business of vacation rentals. No law against that now and enforcement of rental restrictions?

Well, let’s get real. Ain’’t gonna happen. Nepenthe? Where art thou?

How about reviewing another sweet little letter to the editor, this time the RRN 2/19/2003:


“My wife and I first started visiting Sedona in 1971 and immediately fell in love with this national treasure. We finally moved there in 1986. The town then started growing haphazardly, so in 1996, we moved to Carefree, Ariz.

Last week we returned for the first time and ‘”haphazardly”’ cannot describe what we saw there. Possibly the words gaudy, inconsiderate, cluttered and greed best describe the Sedona environment today.

Unfortunately, it appears that everyone is allowed to do their own thing in the commercial area in hope of attracting the tourist buck.

H.L. Mencken once said, ‘No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public.’ Nothing better illustrates this quote than what’s happened to Sedona today. Is there no one in control in there any longer? Do you still have a City Council and a planning commission?

How about setbacks, height restrictions, architectural design reviews, sign ordinances, density restrictions, visual impacts, etc. And what has happened to taste? All the entrances to the town now project one thing to the first-time visitor, insensitivity to this red rock treasure in an attempt to open someone’s pocketbook. Sedona has finally passed the king of tawdriness, South Lake Tahoe.

And what is happening at the ‘Y’? The red rock hill is being torn down and a multitude of time share building is going up, screwing up the landscape in all directions.

This type of visible project is mostly unwelcome in sensitive places and its entire high-pressure sales pitch begs for a different kind of tourist.

Again, someone is in this only for a few bucks today. Shame on all of you who allow this degradation to continue. But, hey, isn’’t that what this once lovely national red rock treasure is now all about? – William W. Bliss, Carefree

Oh, Mr. Bliss, apparently you have no idea what has transpired here since penning your letter back in 2003.

Will conclude this session with two classics:

Arizona Republic–, July 22, 2006: “ PROTESTS DRIVE OUT TOURISTS IN OAXACA (Turista Go Home Oaxaca Antiacapitualista)”



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  1. Eddie Maddock Fan says:

    Congratulations Mrs. Maddock for another great factual article. You are a incredible source of knowledge and we appreciate you greatly.
    I find it fascinating city management continues to go down the backass road to losing our small town charm.
    Miss your TV show “Backfire” as it also disclosed the BS going on in this town.
    Thank you,
    a Eddie Maddock Fan
    (and you have many)

  2. Mark says:


    You did it again. @EddieMaddockFan said it best with the reference to incredible source of knowledge.

    Pictures tell a story and if you bother to examine the pictures of the rocks from decades before city planners and influencers, Sedona was a city to be reckoned with for its serenity, beauty, majesty. Now you have to go to Utah for the same red rocks. Our majestic grandeur sold cheaply to the tawdry (Bliss said it best). All because your councils tried to enrich the pockets of a few?

    And councils want more government influence, more council decisions to protect the red rocks? Look around you. The government destroyed your views. You even elected a communist because of your apathy! How do Sedona community plans and its mission align with a communist ideology? KNOW YOUR POLITICS AND POLITICIANS. Stop electing people because they’re members of the tribe, members of the guild, members of the network, members of the club, or the names you like alphabetically or positioned on a ballot. Because they make promises? Stop being used. Stop the abuse. Promises can’t and won’t be kept. It’s not politically possible any more than a promise is humanly likely.

    Give me liberty and a Libertarian philosophy and I’M NOT ONE. (Keep your half ass comments off the board because it proves your stupidity.) It’s time to stop the red rocks being pulverized into lawn boulders.

    Where are the less government candidates hiding? Get in gear and get your name and candidacy out there. (It’s time the fringe candidates didn’t waste all of our time, votes, money, activism. OR? Why do we accept two party candidates who’re loser retreads begging for money?) I’m tired of it. With luck you are too.

  3. WSR says:

    Yes thank you ESM

    For yet another negative rant.
    The only thing missing from your little historical tour of sedona is when you actually DO SOMETHING but complain..

    Thnk you for staying true to form
    Pointing fingers while taking no action(complaining and finger pointing do not qualify as ACTION)

    And the beat goes on

  4. Jim says:

    Bravo Eddie! Can you say Greed, Thief, Liar, Stupid. Can you say Sedona!

  5. Bravo Eddie! says:

    Thank you Eddie!!!!!!

    Sunshine to us all.

    Funny the stupid city council is being snozzed by the chamber and lodging clan tribe. Sickos! Thanks Eddie


  6. Marty in Sedona says:

    Since when is quoting words of others justified as complaining? No matter what Maddock writes you’ll continue to disagree @WSR so realistically you’re the perpetual complainer. Think how boring your life would be if Maddock didn’t contribute to this site so you, yourself, wouldn’t have her to complain about. Check out the face in your own mirror @WSR. The information contained in this historical run down is both fascinating and informative. Sedona was apparently corrupt from the get-go (IMO) if for no other reason than failure to enforce certain development agreements like Nepenthe & Fairfield to name two. Maddock, keep irritating the (deleted by editor) out of them.

  7. Hay Jessica aka WRS says:

    don’t u get bored with ur same ole same ole. Why don’t u get a job Oh i forgot nobody wants a tried ole mind,
    Try volunteering for the chamber they take anyone. But u have to work fro FREE.
    Payback is a u know what.
    And the beat goes on……… LLL

  8. 15 names says:

    The 15 name lady is at it again……Having many conversations with herself!!

  9. Fred F. says:

    It’s more than disheartening to be reminded of how the Fairfield group managed to manipulate their way out of providing affordable housing not to mention reneging by the Sombart group on the alleged cooperative effort with Fairfield. In fact the existing few apartments on Sombart Lane quickly dropped renewing their tenants’ leases when the state legalized short term (vacation) rentals. And that, of course, also compromised single family zoning in our own subdivisions. And now with the proposed major amendment to the community plan, any vacant lot existing in any subdivision could be subjected to rezoning to accommodate the failed efforts to provide housing for lodging employees.

    A notice in our mail yesterday details the upcoming proposed Major Community Plan Amendments presently under consideration. Of those listed there’s no doubt #4, if approved, will have the single most impact on the already overextended land development that’s occurred since Sedona incorporated. Don’t believe that? Check out traffic, folks! It isn’t only tourists clogging our roads and if you think locals will use a bus to haul home a trunkload of groceries – think again.

    And not only that, the scams allowed by city planners with developers like those of Nepenthe and Fairfield (now Wyndman Sedona and presently being featured and advertised as “vacation rentals”) have been unjust to those of us who purchased our properties in good faith to be protected under the zoning conditions that went with our deeds.

    Using the Community Plan as justification for this travesty is another scam and misuse of interpretation. And when approved, which there’s little to no doubt it will be, there’s equal doubt the properties selected for higher density housing will, in turn, eventually become something other than what is claimed to be intended. Trend of the moment: Vacation Rentals.

    As someone else mentioned, had certain developers been held to the terms of their agreements this wouldn’t even be a consideration at this time. I totally agree with the words of Ryan Van Benthuysen as quoted in the above article, ending with “The city needs to just say no.”

  10. Jim Poole says:

    I find it so very gripping that way back in 1990 the city council called it a balanced budget when they spend more than they bring in.

    Vote NO NO NO on Home rule folks.

    Take your city back.

  11. To Jim Poole says:

    That’s one way of looking at things. Another way would be to use facts to refer to.

    A balanced budget also includes using the “rainy day” or contingency fund. I don’t know of one city where I have lived that used some sort of contingency fund and pulled funds from that fund for special project.

    In my opinion only a closed minded individual would push non-truths to make a point.

  12. Alarmed says:

    Only one concerned resident attended the zoning meeting at City Hall on August 22. Low income complexes of up to 20 units per acre were proposed throughout the City, including the cultural park area. There was talk about subsidizing the housing costs.

    The City has a budgeted negative cash flow of $9,898,641 this fiscal year. During the April 26, 2017 City Council Meeting the Mayor and Council delved into the long-range forecasts for (1) the City General Fund and (2) the Capital Improvements Fund. Based on revenue and expenditure assumptions, the City’s non-wastewater capital reserves were projected to go negative in FY 2018-19 and downhill thereafter.

  13. To Both Pooles says:

    How would either of you feel if after the the community plan is amended to allow higher density housing the city approves for the chamber of commerce to get involved? Translated as use the bed tax money the chamber receives from the city to help provide housing for the lodging council and call it product development. In other words, maybe another opportunity for chamber/lodging to double dip benefiting from city revenue. Keep that in mind when the Sedona city sales tax is increased to pay for road improvements.

  14. @To Jim Poole says:

    I don’t understand your point. I agree that most governments companies have a backup plan but what does that have to do with spending more than you bring in?
    Planning on rainy day or contingency should be in the budget and the budget should be what the city anticipates coming in. They should live within their means.

    If the city goes belly up it is the property owners that pay for their mistakes. Please explain

  15. Steve segner says:

    Jim the City’s fund balances (reserves) are about $43 million right now and that includes all of our funds. The General Fund alone is about $13 million.
    With very large amount and the city is being very conservative in keeping rainy day funds hope this laser your fears

  16. Eddie Maddock says:

    Arizona Republic, Wednesday, August 30, 2017: OPINIONS – Robert Robb, Editorial Columnist headlines: “PHOENIX’S FAILED HOTEL EXPERIMENT WILL COST LOCAL TAXPAYERS FOR YEARS”

    Best suggestion would be to read the article yourself.

    Next best and to summarize, Phoenix asked voters in 2001 to approve $300 million in bonds to expand the convention center which made no sense unless downtown also got a lot of additional hotel rooms which they planned on private investors to provide. That was revisited in 2003 “when they were successfully lobbying the Legislature to pony up an additional $300 million from state coffers. Private investment would supply the hotel rooms.”


    Catchy internal phrase: “The city likes to depict the taxes dedicated to the convention center as being paid by out-of-towners, but that’s a distortion. Earmarked revenue includes a portion of the city’s tax on advertising, construction, restaurants and bars, to name a few of the taxes that fall on locals.” Grand tally: almost $1 billion of taxpayer money in it, much more than that including debt service. “State taxpayers are on the hook for $300 million of it.” Reference in this enlightening editorial is appropriately made to “voodoo” and sounds remarkably familiar when comparing it with so much of what has rapidly become common practice in Sedona over the years and continues to grow. That, of course, is my opinion.



    Sedona, please keep this in mind as you make your great plans to promote the current endeavor of slicing up our Sedona Community Plan to invalidate the original purpose for Sedona to become an incorporated city in the first place.

    Your efforts to be all things to the demands of the lodging council, a branch of the chamber of commerce, have extended over and above the level of comprehension or good sense.

    Dump the idea of subsidizing housing for those that are unwilling to provide it for their exclusive needs. So often people attempting to sell their ideas compare with other cities, etc. but only when it suits their purpose. Well, this is a glaring example of a big city policy that should be used as a high priority example for Sedona to back off – and follow the suggestion made in Robert Robb’s final provocative paragraph.

    Thank you.

  17. West Sedona Dave says:

    Yes indeed !

    Why should the city of Sedona think of having reasonable housing, Right?

    You know they might be able to help the disabled or the elderly by doing so!

    Screw those people, if they cant afford to live here, hek with’em!

    You people will never learn will you? How very sad you think the world,and Sedona revolve around only you!…..Talk about sick!

  18. @West Sedona Dave says:

    buddy you can’t get it because you don’t understand it –

    this isn’t about disabled, elderly bcuz Sedona has many facilities catering to these groups – different programs, different incentives, different government handout money.

    Where one lives is always predicated on where one can afford, even you, bcuz you don’t have the means to live in a Paradise Valley or a Scottsdale or other locales with high priced housing. You came here bcuz it was cheap when you bought.

    most high priced housing in Sedona was built recently, mostly since the 2000 boom that went bust in 2008. it’s not the norm. Foothills South is an old development and most homes look it but until you put that monster gateway program in place, it was sought after. not now. bad location now.

    Sedona has lots of affordable housing bcuz most homes were built pre 2000 and lots of homes were built pre 1990 and were built pre 1980 and were built pre 1970 and honestly @WSD do I need to keep going? Realtors want more inventory bcuz they’re too many to justify good incomes in Sedona (we lost a good man to midgley bcuz of that reason). Oak Creek Canyon has more migrants camping and e coli result closes its one state park that draws dollars. you need to study your back yard before you advocate and scream wolf wolf…

    yes. i’m in real estate. not worth developing here like other places. this is meant to be small and beautiful and difficult to travel to and from. deal with it. then your home will appreciate. Ask Foothills South what they think of you destroying their hood?

  19. @@West Sedona Dave says:

    No “Buddy” YOU DON’T GET IT!

    If you think that Sedona has “many” facilities catering to the disabled and elderly you are waaaay out of touch and you say that you’re a realtor?

    You say that “Sedona has lots of affordable housing” NOT ANYMORE and again, YOU’RE OUT OF TOUCH! Those “affordable houses” HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO VACATION RENTALS. The people who could afford those “affordable house” were kicked out because of plain and simple GREED along with the hard working people who stock our shelves, clean our cars, work the cash registers and most of all, sculpt, paint, sing and act! But I guess in your world, you think that it’s ok for those wonderful people to work here but they should go home to Cottonwood or anywhere else. Well guess what, those towns have lost their “affordable houses” also.

    So, “riddle me this” you out of touch realtor, if none of the towns have enough housing for them and those people have to move, who’s going to do any of the work. But I guess you have a better idea and I’d like to hear it.

  20. To Sedona Dave says:

    Most realtors I know, know their neighborhood.

    Other than the Pines (which is in the Village) please tell me what elder care facilities we have in Sedona?

  21. @@@West Sedona Dave says:

    No worries @@West Sedona Dave the city of sedona is funding us by paying the chamber 3 million a year. Maybe you can let us sleep in the ole bank the taxpayers are paying for. I also get to entertain up at posse grounds. I get more and don’t have to pay into tax base. The city of sedona pays for the ole teen center and pays a salary (big bucks)for the women that runs it. They have no idea what going on up there. Nice free pads are good that give me more. I also when I need more moola pick up cash at the grocery stores. Sedonans are very giving. In just a few hours I get 300-400 bucks and someone always offers me a room to stay in.
    don’t worry be happy

  22. steve Segner says:

    @@West Sedona Dave says:
    Dave you nailed it, we need housing , of all types no one is looking at goverment
    housing of any kind just how do we allow smaller home to be built and not turn into over night rentals. Eddie, just talks about the past, well cities grow and change. Did you notice when I posted that the ity has $43 million in the bank she start telling the sad story of phoenix……. nothing to do with sedona.

  23. Happy in Sunset Viillage says:

    Wow @West Sedona Dave (or is it Chris?) untwist your knickers and clear your head. Your anger is displaced. Why not find out how the Nepenthe development managed to be an affordable living cop out? And what was behind the negotiations with Fairfield that the city allowed them to renege on that development agreement? You rightfully infer the takeover of vacation rentals is a blight on Sedona – true! However, it’s primarily the hospitality industry that continues to whine about lack of “affordable” housing. Well then, why don’t those crybabies follow other tourist places and provide housing themselves – as was the city’s plan when they started requiring it but dropped the ball and didn’t enforce it.

    Not only that, how many lodging operators are breaking federal law and hiring illegal immigrants in order to avoid paying the Arizona minimum wage $10.00 an hour?

    Follow the legal system and alleged unaffordable might just become manageable. Ever think about that?

    Life in Sunset Village is fabulous and Nepenthe would have been a lovely affordable companion addition. But oh no – soon as it was built it turned into high priced rentals, many also bought up as second homes for that purpose. And now how many of those are also vacation rentals? And if the city got into the low cost housing business what would prevent the State to step in and say no, no, no – same as with the ADUs? So we end up with even more vacation rentals.

    If the truth were really known, isn’t it possible the real reason behind all this is because some other inflated ego(s) want for their legacy to be providing housing for indigents that prefer to smoke pot and sit on street corners than get a job. Not to mention the violators of the immigration law that maybe those behind this movement could host under the also illegal activity of Sedona becoming a “sanctuary city”?

    All that glitters is NOT gold. Give me my sweet Sunset Village lifestyle – low profile, unobtrusive, and affordable. Too bad about flaky negotiations and maybe even crooked deals of the past. Who knows? But why should anyone trust them now?

  24. Alarmed says:

    There are few workers who will live in the proposed low income complexes planned throughout Sedona. Most families with kids, as well as the younger crowd, have lost interest in living here. As the City of Sedona 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) tells us, the Median Age of 50.5 in 2009 became 58.0 in 2016.

    According to Sperling’s Best Places [to live]:

    Compared to the rest of the country, Sedona (zip 86336)’s COST OF LIVING is 43.90% Higher than the U.S. average.

    Sedona (zip 86336) public schools spend $9,585 PER STUDENT. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $12,383.

    And that’s not all. The traffic study currently underway fails to address the traffic nightmares at the “Y.” They can back up traffic for miles.

    BTW, the City has a budgeted negative cash flow of $9,989,641 for the current fiscal year. The Aug 23, 2017 RRN reports: “The total increase in spending over last year-to-date [July 1 – May 30] amounts to 11 percent, with a 21 percent increase projected for the year.

  25. West Sedona Dave says:

    Yes, Sunset Village is an asset to Sedona…..Just ask any mayor who can boast of fair housing for anyone 55 and over…..
    But there is a problem as I have driven around there, there are no open spaces!
    So I have no problem with the city trying to help create even more affordable housing!
    We have single people, one parent homes, disabled, and elderly, they ALL are part of OUR community!

    As for all of you with your insane Nepenthe rambling, you want, or wanted the city of sedona to tell those owners what price they can resell their home for?….Are you for real?
    I had a good friend buy in their many moons ago…..They only owned it for less than two years, and resold it for $90k more……So the city should have controlled what a privet individual can do with it?………………..Riiiiiight!

    You crazy insane haters just constantly and continually (deleted by editor) moan and complain…..and as I see it never lift a finger to make for change?….Very odd behavior!

    If the city found gold you people would sill find problems with it……You may want to start looking for a nice rock to move under……Change happens, some good, some bad……But doing nothing but vile hatred on a blog will not get you no change, good or bad!

  26. Eddie Maddock says:

    Response to Steve Segner:

    What are you talking about? You write, “Eddie, just talks about the past, well cities grow and change. Did you notice when I posted that the ity has $43 million in the bank she start telling the sad story of phoenix……. nothing to do with sedona.”

    What? (I presume the “ity” should have been “city”?)

    You have every right to express the above comment as being your opinion. However, you neglected to do so. Therefore and for your information let me set the record straight.

    When I wrote about the Opinion article in the Arizona Republic (if that is to what you refer) it had absolutely nothing at all, whatsoever, to do with any comment coming from you – especially since I was not even aware (nor do I care) what you wrote. Get over yourself, Steve. Please.

    In the future will you kindly cease and desist making false, unfounded statements which obviously you cannot prove.

    Thank you.

  27. steve Segner says:

    Compared to the rest of the country, Sedona (zip 86336)&COST OF LIVING is 43.90% Higher than the U.S. average. Sedona is not average )

    1. One more time- please read, this is because of “housing”, and this is why we are working on smaller homes.

    2. You say “hotels do not pay $10.00 per her. Hiring illegal immigrants B.S. most hotels are paying to $16.00 + with benefits some hotels are 25+ Management is 100,000+

    3. You don’t like school spending the talk to you governor the amount is set by the state not local goverment Thank Slliva Allen.

    4. One more time the city is using savings, (money saved over the years) the city had $45,000,000 in the bank
    Sanctuary city. Lets hope so

    5. Median Age of 50.5 in 2009 became 58.0 in 2016. Yes people get older and people are saying put.(must be happy) 30 olds can not afford homes in Sedona.

    Towns grow- Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in America ,they will visit Sedona on weekends. Get over it traffic is part of growing and change.
    We have 6 state parks, Oak Creek Canyon and the Grand Canyon with in 100 miles and two state Hwy’s
    Running through town, why why in the world did you move to Sedona knowing this ?
    10,000 people that make there living from tourism….. We are not going to stop growing, If you don’t like it move.

  28. steve Segner says:

    Compared to the rest of the country, Sedona (zip 86336)’s COST OF LIVING is 43.90% Higher than the U.S. average.

    Cost of Living Ranking in United States
    All above Sedona …..
    (top cities by data quality)

    Ranking City Price Index *
    1st Bridgeport, Connecticut 257
    2nd Palo Alto, California 250
    3rd New York City 241
    4th San Francisco, California 234
    5th Walnut Creek, California 233
    6th Washington D.C. 227
    7th Mountain View, California 223
    8th Berkeley, California 216
    9th San Jose, California 209
    10th Honolulu, Hawaii 208
    11th Oakland, California 199
    12th Boston, Massachusetts 197
    13th Maui 196
    14th Jersey City, New Jersey 192
    15th Los Angeles, California 192
    16th Seattle, Washington 189
    17th San Diego, California 185
    18th Santa Cruz, California 183
    19th Santa Ana, California 183
    20th Chicago, Illinois 182
    21st Boulder, Colorado 179
    22nd Arcata, California 174
    23rd Irvine, California 173
    24th Sacramento, California 173
    25th Portland, Oregon 173
    26th Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 172
    27th Billings, Montana 172
    28th Newark, New Jersey 172
    29th Anchorage, Alaska 172
    30th Miami, Florida 172
    31st Traverse City, Michigan 171
    32nd Denver, Colorado 171
    33rd San Luis Obispo, California 165
    34th Long Beach, California 164
    35th Baltimore, Maryland 163
    36th Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota 162
    37th Atlanta, Georgia 160
    38th Fort Lauderdale, Florida 160
    39th Hartford, Connecticut 160
    40th Providence, Rhode Island 157
    41st Burlington 156
    42nd Austin, Texas 156
    43rd Charleston, South Carolina 155
    44th Tacoma, Washington 155
    45th Dallas, Texas 155
    46th New Orleans, Louisiana 154
    47th Baton Rouge, Louisiana 154
    48th Savannah, Georgia 154
    49th Salt Lake City, Utah 153
    50th Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 153
    51st Houston, Texas 152
    52nd Nashville, Tennessee 152
    53rd Milwaukee, Wisconsin 149
    54th Madison, Wisconsin 149
    55th Fort Worth, Texas 149
    56th Albany, New York 148
    57th Tempe, Arizona 148
    58th Durham, North Carolina 147
    59th Charlotte, North Carolina 147
    60th Grand Rapids 146
    61st Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 144
    62nd Scottsdale, Arizona 144
    63rd Wilmington, Delaware 144
    64th Tampa, Florida 144
    65th Ann Arbor, Michigan 144
    66th Eugene, Oregon 144
    67th Reno, Nevada 144
    68th Riverside, California 144
    69th St. Louis, Missouri 143
    70th Orlando, Florida 143
    71st Las Vegas, Nevada 142
    72nd Charlottesville, Virginia 142
    73rd Fresno, California 142

  29. Hotel Worker says:

    Steve that is not true we don’t make anywhere near $16.00. Try $10 Chefs may get 12. We get paid by a portion of the tips. Most of us don’t get benefits part time and work in more than one place. Alarmed is correct.

  30. Eddie Maddock says:

    PS to previous comment.

    It wasn’t until after I wrote the comment referencing Steve Segner I went back to check where he had mentioned the city’s $43 million in the bank. So indeed it’s appearance just above my comment to which he referred was sheer coincidence because I can assure you when I made my entry less than an hour later the comment from Segner had NOT been posted.

    Even if it had been it had absolutely nothing to do with the referenced “opinion” article which by the way only appeared in the AZ Republic that very morning Aug. 30th. Quite possibly could it have been the profound closing remark made by AZ Republic reporter Robert Robb that REALLY rattled Mr. Segner’s chain?


    At any rate, it was enlightening to learn from Mr. Segner how the city is intending to spend that $43 million. His own words:

    “4. One more time the city is using savings, (money saved over the years) the city had $45,000,000 in the bank
    Sanctuary city. Lets hope so.”

    Product Development Confirmed?

    Yep – THAT one really caught my eye!:-) (bof ’em)

  31. Carl says:

    Steve Your COL is through the roof. You proved it with cities hundreds of thousands bigger. Where you plan on putting their crap & even their trash? Ask Oak Creek Watershed where crap & trash end up now without your BIG DEVELOPMENT PLANS. Where you plan on putting their cars? Where you plan on driving a car. Think man. You’ve got the wrong plan for the wrong town for the wrong reason. Stop playing Star Trek & beam yourself down.

  32. Alarmed says:

    The proposed low income complexes will be SUBSIDIZED and will exacerbate the health and safety problems currently existing in Sedona, something SS fails to mention. His list of cities with higher costs of living than Sedona are all places that have something to offer residents. The City of Sedona and the Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, have ruined the livability here.

    It’s a lie that the 10,000 people living in Sedona make their living from tourism. Tourism is costing residents money. Although the City is paying millions, wear and tear from tourism has led to deteriorating streets. And the 55.4% visitor population pays merely 24.6% of the cost of Wastewater operations.

    I agree with Eddie. SS, you need to cease and desist making false, unfounded statements which you obviously cannot prove..Read what I wrote. I never said one word about hiring illegal immigrants, and the traffic nightmares at the “Y” have mushroomed since the Chamber flooded Sedona with day trippers.

    The younger crowd has left Sedona. As a result the median age has risen from 50.5 in 2009 to 58.0 in 2016. Money that the last school bond initiative promised would go towards teachers salaries did not.

    The City has pissed away the savings it once had. The City’s $45,000,000 fund balance is not unreserved money. Only a few hundred thousand are unrestricted or uncommitted.

    The April 26, 2017 City Council meeting delved into the long range forecasts for (1) the City General Fund and (2) the Capital Improvements Fund. Based on the revenue and expenditure assumptions, the City’s non-wastewater capital reserves were projected to go negative in FY 2018-19 and then downhill from there.

  33. Son of A Gun says:

    Is it a miracle? The amount of Sedona’s (aka C of C) money in the bank suddenly jumped from $43 million to $45,000,000 when Steve Segner mentioned Sanctuary City. Oh Lord Heal Thy Sick. (but begin with thyself?)

  34. Steve segner says:

    Carl curl there are no big development plans we are looking to build small homes on small lots , Sedona is a tourist town always has been it Will continue to grow and we can’t stop it nor or should we, the people of Arizona Have the right to enjoy Sedona just as much as we do .
    Eddie you were caught flat-footed again you’re always crying poor Sedona and in the old DAYS. all you have to do is look at the numbers up City Council and the city manager or doing a great job running a city that is thriving and growing faster than almost any city it’s size in America.Eddie,most of America is looking for ways to grow, not you….. get over the sewer ,yes we have an expensive sewer ,yes it could’ve been done differently and yes it’s 8 miles out of town Cut from heard rock and so what if it cost $60 p+we have a great sewer system now we have to pay for it ,you guys are always talking about greed is the greed really that you just don’t want to pay your fair share ?

  35. Speaking of the Sewer says:

    Isn’t it amazing? This city can now consider subsidizing housing for whomever(?) and yet they refuse to take responsibility for the two homes on View Drive that were inundated with backed up raw sewage.

    Even the unofficial poll in the RRNews indicated almost 80% of those voting thought it should be the city’s full responsibility to make it right with those homeowners. But oh no not in Sedona.

    And where @Steve Segner do you come off with the statement: “Eddie,most of America is looking for ways to grow, not you….. get over the sewer.”

    Just so happened I was at City Hall a few years ago when Mrs. Maddock was reclaiming her prepayment to connect to the sewer because the subdivision where she lives is not even on the sewer and unlikely it will ever be! (Once again you shoot off your mouth remaining clueless about your senseless rants.)

    They will continue to raise our sales tax until they drive even more of us out of town to shop. I love shopping at Ace Hardware in Sedona – nice helpful employees. Raise the sales tax and I’m off to Ace in the VOC and even to Cottonwood if it becomes necessary. Avoid Sedona traffic in both directions becomes more appealing every day.

    Sanctuary City! Wonder how this city will like losing State and Federal funding over that one? Oh forgot. Just raise the sales tax and make a futile attempt to get voter approval of City Property Tax? Maybe the 1000 people left in Sedona by the time that happens will get it approved by the 100 people or so that are even interested in voting?

    So let the Chamber etal revel in their new found wealth with no accountability and make nice with the USFS by giving them city tax revenue – product development = free housing – and a sanctuary city to continue the policy of taking care of the entire Verde Valley. Hardly adhering to State Statute to regulate and provide for the incorporated boundary of a designated municipality. Translated = City Limits.

  36. @Alarmed says:

    OMG the lies that some people tell to steer the conversation away from the truth.

    NO WHERE IN THE CITY PROPOSAL does it show “The proposed low income complexes will be SUBSIDIZED” NO ONE SAID LOW INCOME AND NO ONE SAID SUBSIDIZED. How nice it would be for our teachers and police officers to live in the city that they work.

    I Went to that meeting last week held by the city and it appears to me that the only thing that the city is asking is to allow for more density. The city, state or feds WILL NOT BE SUBSIDIZING anything. Because the density will be increased the builder will then be able to make his/her profits having more RENT come in.

    How nice it would be if you pot stirrers on SE would speak the truth.

  37. The Truth : Affordable Housing says:

    ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT FACTOR (AAF): Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 provides for annual rent adjustments for housing units assisted under this section. HUD develops the rent adjustment factors, called AAFs, on the basis of Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on changes in residential rent and utility costs. HUD publishes the AAFs annually in the Federal Register.
    ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION CONTRACT (ACC): Annual contracts with Public Housing Authorities for payments toward rent, financing debt service, and financing for modernization.
    ANNUAL INCOME: The HOME Program allows the use of three income definitions for the purpose of determining applicant eligibility:
    Annual income as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (24 CFR 5.609);
    Annual income as reported under the Census Long Form for the most recent decennial census; or
    Adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual federal annual income tax purposes.
    The definitions are collectively referred to as “annual income” and are also used in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

  38. Sedona schools says:

    School Districts in Sedona & other

    Grade Span

    Sedona Charter School Inc.

    Sedona-Oak Creek Jusd #9

    Flagstaff Unified District

    Pace Preparatory Academy Inc.


  39. Richard D. Stern says:

    Very much agree @Alarmed ” How nice it would be if you pot stirrers on SE would speak the truth.” But that also includes Segner who just shoots off his mouth about anyone and anything. Even making accusations about whether or not selective businesses are licensed or implying others are complaining about sewer fees when they aren’t even connected to the system!

    Unless I’m mistaken (which wouldn’t be the first time) didn’t the notion of government subsidy actually arise from Segner? Here or another article? BTW did anyone at that meeting even ask about why other attempts at providing affordable housing failed? (Nepenthe & Fairfield) Will there be a guarantee more moderately priced houses will not be turned into vacation rentals? We were away on vacation and unable to attend the meeting and other meetings generally aren’t convenient for us to attend but we’ll follow this latest exercise in what appears to be another Sedona Folly. (IMO)

  40. Alarmed says:

    @@Alarmed needs to speak the truth.

    There was a big difference between the City proposal and what came up during the meeting regarding higher densities last week. YES, THERE WAS TALK ABOUT SUBSIDIZING HOUSING COSTS during that meeting. One astute resident asked them where they were going to get the money from. They said Sedona has plenty of money for this. Subsidized housing is low income housing.

  41. Josh - Sedona real estate market -Trulia says:

    Sedona AZ – Home median sale prices begin at $66K and go to $1.5mil on Trulia site.

    Home rentals begin at $900, a few around 1250 sqft with 2 bds 2 baths 2 garages renting for $1200. (Divide that $$ by 2 singles or a working couple and that’s $600 each.)

    Based on a teachers income at beginning grade, based on a police officers income at beginning grade, they qualify for $1400 per month rental plus utilities.

    West Sedona, a few homes in uptown, canyon, VOC, Page Springs and near the Circle K/Hillside areas, private rentals and for sale by owners meet the percentage of calculated need for Sedona mortgage and bank qualifiers.

    You’ve got low income housing.

    I’m told a neighbor’s illegal housekeeper and 3 kids lives in West Sedona in a better house than my uncle. Lots of cash out there. Trulia says Sedona prices fell over 14% this past year. Other places got more expensive and Sedona getting cheaper.

    Did you know that # of Sedona rentals tripled in past year and the amount of rent asked for dropped not a little but a lot? Just sayin’

  42. Found on internet says:


    Price dropped from $48K to $44K: This 55+ Sedona community considered to have the best unobstructed views in all of Sedona. POOL. PATIO. RV PARKING. OWN IT. MORTGAGE PAYMENT ESTIMATE INCLUDES COMMUNITY HOA – $1100. Many NEW upgrades and appliances. Minutes from west Sedona and city. Quiet without the noise and traffic of city limits.

    New a/c-heat pump, hot water heater, stove, dishwasher, microwave/convection oven and refrigerator. 2-car carport and large storage shed. Large front porch with unobstructed red rock views from all rooms.
    Listing Info of this property

    Information last updated on 07/28/2017:
    Price: $44,900
    2 Bedrooms
    2 full Bathrooms
    Garbage Disposal
    Ceiling Fan
    Double-Pane Windows
    Status: For Sale By Owner
    Parking: carport
    Floors: Carpet, Laminate
    Jetted Bath Tub
    Hot Tub / Spa
    Built in 1978
    Rooms: 6
    896 sqft
    RV Parking
    Barbeque Area
    Fees and Taxes
    HOA (Monthly): $855

  43. steve Segner says:

    There was a big difference between the City proposal and what came up during the meeting regarding higher densities last week. YES, THERE WAS TALK ABOUT SUBSIDIZING HOUSING COSTS during that meeting.

    what are you worried about? new homes? low in come people? both are good . The city has no intention or the ability to SUBSIDIZING HOUSING COSTS in Arizona make if almost imposable, but the city has some land, worth looking at . Just saying

  44. @Josh Sedona Real Estate etc. says:

    Certain people do NOT want to hear that and they will do everything possible to ignore your FACTUAL input. The controlling force here is on a one track mission, to conquer and control. Apparently their sales pitch con job about using Sedona tax revenue has convinced legal opinions that product development is the magical door opener to continue the unbridled, uncontrolled power this and past City Councils have authorized to the regional chamber of commerce. Don’t like it? Move. They will say good riddance and don’t let the door hit you in your rear end. And that’s the way they do things in Sedona now days.

  45. Get over ur DA says:

    You all are missing the bigger picture. Workers don’t want to move to Sedona, Young families don’t either. The City and School sucks and they over charge nickel and dime you. Going down this road is only cheapening the area. Who wants to be in a tiny room when they are off work? No one.
    Cheap and getting cheaper YOU are attracting the WRONG type of people.
    Why live in a small room when they can rent the old house in cottonwood????
    Everyone wants to get away from this politically charged know it all tiny shrinking town. dumb

  46. @Richard D. Stern says:

    It was mentioned that there would be a deed restriction that would remove any chance of that development being turned into Vacation Rentals or Condos or sold individually.

  47. Esquire Man says:

    @@Richard D. Stern

    If the city is smart, leave this can of worms unopened. You will be going to lawsuit hell. If you use city land to develop this housing, you will find lawsuits coming out of the woodwork. Lawyer and Insurance up if go forward.

  48. Sedona Eye Census Stats /Arizona breakdown (ASU) says:

    Visit website http://arizonaindicators.org , the most recent extrapolated study of Arizona economy, public finance, education, innovation, sustainability, civic life, health, human services, criminal justice, transportation, demographics. Information useful about Sedona may be found here.

    The site’s Arizona county map is electronically interactive. Here’s the information provided for Yavapai County and Coconino County, counties that comprise Sedona, in a section of the study:

    Yavapai (YC) and Coconino County (CC):

    Total population ~ 209, 260 (YC) 131,824 (CC)
    Under 5 year ~ 5.1% (YC) 6.8% (CC)
    18 years and older ~ 80.3% (YC) 75.6% (CC)
    65 years and older ~ 22.7% (YC) 8.5% (CC)

    Race and Ethnicity

    White ~ 82.5% (YC) 55.4% (CC)
    Hispanic/Latino (of any race) ~ 13.1% (YC) 13.1% (CC)
    American Indian and Alaska Native alone ~ 1.7% (YC) 26.8% (CC)
    Black or African American alone ~ 0.5% (YC) 1.0% (CC)
    Asian alone ~ 0.7% (YC) 1.5% (CC)
    Other ~ 1.5% (YC) 2.2% (CC)

    Education (25 years and over) ~ Percent with Bachelor’s degree or higher 23.7% (YC) 31.1% (CC)

    Percent foreign born ~ 7.2% (YC) 5.7% (CC)
    Percent with Disability ~ 16.1% (YC) 12.1% (CC) (for the total civilian non-institutionalized population and from the single year 2009 American Community Survey)

    Median household income ~ $43,290 (YC) $49,510 (CC)
    Civilian Labor Force ~ 93,799 (YC) 69,244 (CC)

    Sampling error is very large for all Arizona counties. This data should be used only to show averages over a five year span, and not any given year. Sedona population is declining.

  49. Suspicions Confirmed says:

    @Steve Segner – So based on what you write ” but the city has some land, worth looking at . Just saying ” the Brewer Road property (or a portion) might be up for grabs? How can that be since the justification for city purchase of that property was with development impact fees which allegedly was only to be used for land acquisition to benefit the public in general – ergo the public park facility as earmarked when the transaction was confirmed. How far will you go to finagle deals for your own benefit? Sure – a portion of the Brewer “park” for affordable housing? How convenient.

    @Richard D. Stern – deed restrictions? Right! And what about our single-family residential zoning when the State made vacation rentals legal? Deed restrictions! Ha- means nothing in this neck o’the woods. DON’T BELIEVE THEM!

    This becomes clearer by the moment. Slam-dunk as much as they can before the end of the year because guess what? Next year election time. Remember how that rotten city council that initiated this entire process just happened to extend the chamber contract from one to THREE years prior to their departure from their thrones? Once this is in force, it’s unlikely it will EVER be changed.


  50. Oh Brother says:

    This whole thing is just another snow job – same as Nepenthe & Fairfield mentioned in above article. Interesting that at least at one time the RRNews had an editor that took a realistic position – the Van Benthuysen fellow – who said the city should just say “no” to the Fairfield squeaky deal. And the most recent headline about the convention center in Phoenix and the excellent point made by Robert Robb – about where cities and town should focus their responsibilities and repeated several times here.

    A similar thing happened with the ADU’s a few years back – passedin spite of public disapproval. And now that code has been scrapped because of the vacation rental law.

    Well – they will do it anyway – same as how they approved most of the things the public survey said people didn’t want (another headline in another article) so it’s little wonder people don’t bother to speak up. They’ve already made up their minds so why bother? Sedona – beautiful on the outside, ugly on the inside.

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